Killings in Kaduna, Zamfara, Plateau, Benue fuelled by abuse of social media — NSA
Abuja—National Security Adviser, Major-General Babagana Monguno (retd), said yesterday, that intelligence findings have revealed that several of the crises and killings taking place in the country, particularly Kaduna, Zamfara, Benue and Plateau states, were fuelled by abuse of the social media by those who do not mean well for the country. Consequently, he said the Federal Government has banned unauthorised acquisition of firearms, drones and some specialised broadcast equipment. Disclosing this during the General Security Appraisal Committee meeting at the Office of NSA, ONSA, in Abuja, Mongonu noted that the abuse of social media platforms, in addition to illicit acquisition of controlled items by non-state actors, had become the major source of insecurity in the country. He warned those already in possession of these unauthorised items to surrender them to the appropriate authorities to avoid the full wrath of the law. The NSA said: “Members of the public are sternly warned against illicit acquisition of controlled items such as firearms, remotely piloted aircraft (drones) and broadcast equipment, among others. “Accordingly, those with such illegally acquired controlled items are, hereby, advised to voluntarily surrender them to the appropriate security agencies.” The NSA, who was flanked by Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai; Director-General of Department of State Services, DSS, Mr. Yusuf Bichi, and Chief of Defence Intelligence Agency, CDI, Air Vice Marshal Mohammed Usman, and representatives of other security agencies, cited Benue, Plateau, Zamfara and Kaduna states as areas abuse of social media platforms through fake news, hate speech and incitement had fuelled insecurity. Against this backdrop, Monguno said the Federal Government was taking all necessary measures to address the underlying unresolved conflicts and bring all perpetrators to justice. He said: “The Federal Government is concerned that social media and other communication platforms are now used to exacerbate tension through rumour, hate speech and incitement. “Nigerians are reminded that all laws and regulations against hate speech and incitement will be fully enforced to ensure peace, security and freedom for all Nigerians wherever they chose to live. “In a bid to address these spates of civil disturbances, heads of security agencies have reviewed the internal security situation and resolved to take all necessary measures within the law to curb this violence.” In order to further ensure security of persons and confidentiality of reports by citizens, he said ONSA had activated its crisis response platform for anonymous reporting of suspicious activities and security incidents.